Today I laughed.
I laughed a good, hearty, belly ache laugh.
I laughed with all my heart and cried great big giant tears of laughter.
I laughed with so much joy, I felt as if the sun was streaming right through me.
Not because anything was particularly funny or because anyone cracked a joked.
Not because I discovered that I had become an overnight genius.
Not because I’m slightly mental and possibly a bit delirious.
Not because my life is perfect and all my needs are met.
I laughed because that’s what you do when you realise that life is unpredictable.
When it dawns upon you that no matter how well you may think you have this life figured out, it will always climb up on a tight rope, do a little twirl (just to show off) and then come graciously swinging down and hit you smack bang in the face with a great big thump.
I laughed because I’m human.
I laughed at my human disillusionment that things would go exactly according to plan, because I’d done the math, I’d seen the forecasts and according to my sources life was in fact a simple formula that could be mastered.
I laughed because life is consistent in it’s inconsistency and despite being constantly surprised by it, despite my fears and reservations, I’m happy to have this life. Happy to love and be loved, happy to experience the best of times and the worst of times, happy to laugh and cry, happy to wake up each day to a new surprise, whether good or bad.
Today I laughed. I laughed because it was all I could do.
For the past month or so I’ve been having a lot of ‘what if moments’. Unemployed, in a different city, with only my savings to live off, I was starting to feel a little more than out of my depth and the gloomy weather wasn’t particularly helping the situation.
But in the space of a week, that all turned around. A short visit from my family gave me the pick-me-up I needed. Two job interviews later, I landed myself a job in communications, my three-week old cold finally packed up and left and the sun decided to come out in Trafalgar Square. In short, I got my mojo back.
Things don’t always happen just the way you want them to or when you want, but when they do, it’s always right on time! 🙂
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Death, car accidents, falling down stairs, being hijacked, being mauled by a bear, are what I would consider as bad things. The saying goes that only bad things happen quickly and perhaps that’s true. Maybe bad things have such a brief lifespan when they occur to the reduce the amount of pain you feel when you’re hit by a truck or slapped through the face.
I believe that human beings are resilient and that we can bounce back from anything. Sometimes the pain is brief, but the healing process is lengthy, but it makes us appreciate the good things in life so much more. The belief that something better lies ahead, keeps us moving and the patient knowledge that good things comes to those who wait, is what keeps us motivated. So we take the good with the bad, because ‘you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.’
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I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of an explorer. I love discovering new places, jetting off to different countries and getting to know more about people’s cultures and so its no surprise that my favourite Cat in the Hat book is Oh the places you’ll go!
It’s one of my all time favourite books, although I’ve never owned a copy, something which I hope to remedy soon. However, everytime I read the book it sparks something inside me and inspires me to explore further than my little corner of the earth. One of my favourite lines from the book goes a little something like this: ‘ So be sure when you step. Step with great care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. ‘
I think the book describes the life of a traveller very well, because it talks about the great adventures you’ll have and the exciting things and places you’ll discover, but it also reminds you of how lonely it can be, how sometimes you’ll fall on hard times and the winds will get knocked out of your sails, something I can relate to. I absolutely adore this book and once I get my hands on a copy, I’ll be sure to pass on the lessons in the book to my own children one day. That Dr. Seuss, he sure is a wise guy 😉
I spent a lot of time in my previous job speaking to people. Many of them who were near to then end of their lives, many who were terminally ill or were dealing with life altering conditions. Some were young, as young as 8 years old and still afraid of the Boogie Man. Others were ancient, 80, 90 years old and had survived not one, but two World Wars. All of them fighting their own battles, but each one of them had one thing in common, they needed someone to listen, someone to talk to.
For the most part, I was there to make sure that they were taken care of. Administering meds at different times of the day, cooking up nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch & supper, that sort of thing. But, that was the easy part, because although all of these things contributed to their well-being, the only thing all of them wanted was someone to talk to, someone who would really listen to them.
You see, they’d talk all day, most of them anyway. Talk to their daughters 3000 miles away, enquiring about their health and what they were eating. They’d talk to their doctors who’d ask them about their symptoms and medication refills. They’d talk to their friends who never stopped by anymore, because their lives were far too busy. Talk, talk, talk! Lots of talk about lots of important things, but all they really wanted to talk about was what was on their minds.
I guess that’s where I came in. I’d sit and listen for hours as a 98 year old war veteran suffering from cancer, would tell me about scaling the Straits of Gibraltar. I’d listen to a 9 year old girl, who suffered from more than 10 epileptic episodes a day, tell me all about her imaginary friend Bunny and their magical adventures. I’d listen as 48 year old artist and icon, dying of an incurable brain disease, shared her life stories with me, using what was left of her memory and limited vocabulary. I’d listen to them all talk about love, life, loss, about their fears, their hope and dreams, about how they’d been forgotten, how all they wanted was for someone to care, all they wanted was to say the things they never got to say.
I have conversations with people because sometimes all anybody needs is someone to listen, sometimes people just want to hear about your problems to escape their own bleak reality. Sometimes it’s just good to know that there’s someone else in the room and you’re not alone.
Most of the time, it wasn’t so much what they said, but what they didn’t say that stayed with me. Their eyes and body language spoke louder than any words could ever and the saddest part was that their daughters 3000 miles away or friends who only remembered them by means of Christmas Cards once a year would never hear those unsaid things, which could not be said in a letter or in telephone calls. The conversations I had with these individuals are some of the most memorable and treasured conversations I’ve had in my lifetime and they will stay locked in my heart forever.
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